Natural gelling agent extracted from brown algae often combined with a calcium salt in the process of spherification.
As you probably guessed, the name of this additive comes from its marine origin. In fact, sodium alginate is extracted from brown algae found on the coasts of the North Atlantic, Asia and South America. Its discovery was made by a chemist named E.C.C. Stanford, who described the molecule for the first time in 1881. The food industry uses these algae extract in many different processes and, depending on the desired properties, manufacturers prefer several varieties of marine plants (Laminaria hyerborea, Laminaria digitata, Laminaria japonica, Ascophyllum nodosum, Ecklonia maxima).
Did you know?
- Sodium alginate re-shapes chilli pepper powder or pulp that can then be used to stuff olives.
- It is used to make very reliable dental impressions due to its fine grain size.
- It is used to make replicas of human body parts during the filming of special effects.
- It encapsulates certain probiotics so that they reach the intestines without being destroyed by stomach acid.